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Dept has ‘hands full’ as NC inmates ‘show appetite to be vaccinated’


Department says more inmates are coming forward to be vaccinated than had been expected since the roll-out started last week.

Tswelopele Correctional Centre in Kimberley. File picture: Danie van der Lith

A TOTAL of 2,780 inmates in the Northern Cape and Free State have been vaccinated at Correctional Services facilities since the Covid-19 roll-out was launched last week.

The regional spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Josial Ramokoena, said on Monday that more inmates were coming forward to be vaccinated than had been expected.

“During the past week, DCS health professionals had their hands full as more and more inmates showed an appetite to be vaccinated. This is due to concerted efforts embarked upon by DCS to educate inmates on the importance of vaccines, their efficacy and the fact that we all stand to benefit from being vaccinated,” said Ramokoena.

He added that out of a total of 18,400 offenders in the central region, 2,780 inmates had already received their jab as of Friday, July 23.

“It is expected that 90 percent of inmates will be vaccinated by August 7 to reach population immunity for inmates.”

Ramokoena stated that there were 12 vaccination sites that were set up across the central region to ensure inmates were vaccinated within either the correctional centres they were residing in or within their management areas.

“Vaccination outreach sites have also been established where inmates will be inoculated by health-care professionals at their centres.”

He indicated that 57 DCS vaccinators had undergone vaccination training with the Department of Health Knowledge Hub. “Stock Visibility System (SVS) training was also attended by stock controllers within DCS.”

Ramokoena reported that 638 DCS officials were vaccinated on Friday.

“It is envisaged that 67 percent of officials would have been vaccinated by September 30 to reach their herd immunity.”

He added that more vaccination sites would be rolled out this week in the Free State.

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